Dead horse update: Owner speaks of sorrow

�A distraught rider has been left shocked and upset after her beloved horse was brutally killed as it grazed in a field in Romford.

The seven-year-old thoroughbred, called Poppy, was discovered by passing walkers on Monday with a 20-inch laceration to its neck and jawline at The Chase Nature Reserve, in Rush Green.

The cuts are believed to have been made by a large, sharp object.

The animal had been let out of its stable onto the grassland at around 5am with around 20 other animals from Eastminster School of Riding, in Hooks Hall Farm, on The Chase.

It was found at around 2.30pm.

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Owner Karen Peters, 43, said: “Everyone is just totally shocked by this. No-one has heard of this happening before and we’re alll trying to get our heads around it.”

She said she and her three daughters had been left “numbed and distraught” by the savage slaying.

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“Poppy was a family horse;” she added, “I can’t understand how anyone could be so cruel.”

Police came to the scene where the horse was pronounced dead.

Karen, a civil servent from Rush Green, said she had bought the horse following a life-long love of riding.

“As a bit of consolation the vet said Poppy would have died very quickly,” she said.

David Smyth, proprietor of Havering Park Riding School, who has 24-hour security at his riding school in Orange Treet Hill, in Havering-atte-Bower, said he had heard of a number of horse attacks, sometimes in relation to witch craft.

An RSPCA spokesman described the killing as “horrific”.

Barking and Dagenham police are investigating the incident and is warning horseowners to be on their guards when leaving their animals out.

Sgt James Browing, of the Parks Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This was a barbaric and cruel attack on a defenceless animal.

“Due to the violent nature of this incident, we are very keen to identify the person who is responsible.”

n Anyone with information should contact the police 0800 555 111 or 07525410394

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